NMA Seeks Volunteers to Tackle COVID-19

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Francis Faduyile

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has urged volunteers among public health physicians, and infectious disease specialists, to make themselves available to help tackle the COVID-19.

It decried the apparent lack of enough isolation centres across the states of the federation.

In a statement issued thursday by NMA President, Dr. Francis Faduyile, the association said that there is the need for collaboration between the federal and states in dealing with the pandemic

“We request our state chairmen to compile and submit the list of volunteers (public health physicians, infectious disease specialists, epidemiologists, GPs, health communication experts, nurses and other health professionals) who will be willing to assist in areas with high prevalence at present, to the National Secretariat of NMA on or before the close of work on Friday, March 27, 2020,” he said..

NMA further said that a more result-oriented situation would be one where the federal and the states are comparing notes, sharing intelligence and taking a uniform stand on issues like modalities for effective implementation of interrupting the chain of transmission (social distancing), case detection, contact tracing and self- isolation.

According to the association, these lapses have resulted in the recent cases where some individuals who defaulted the self-quarantine directives and went about mixing freely with the public.

“NMA further laments the absence of purpose-built isolation centres, unlike in the not-too- distant past where Infectious Diseases Hospitals existed in every state of the Federation. To make matters worse, in most of our hospitals, there is severe inadequacy of critical care facilities like purpose-built Intensive Care Units (ICU). These ICUs with ventilators/artificial respirators make the difference between life and death in complications from COVID-19. It is scary that the dearth of these facilities is the same in all the 36 States and the FCT,” it said.